CLOSE to 1 000kg of stolen electrical cables have recently been recovered in Jeffreys Bay.

The recovery took place after Kouga Municipality, in collaboration with Kouga Law Enforcement, embarked on a special operation that led them to Ocean View in Jeffreys Bay where the stolen municipal infrastructure was recovered.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson, said the serious scourge in cable theft – which is not only negatively affecting the municipality, but also residents – is a cause for concern and must end.

“To achieve this, the municipality has intensified the fight against this crime and more interventions are being planned and will be rolled out in the near future – including increased patrols and installation of closed-circuit television cameras,” said Benson.

According to Benson, although the municipality has to bear the cost of replacing stolen cables and damaged infrastructure, the effects suffered by residents can be even worse. “This includes prolonged power outages, which impact businesses and ultimately lead to job losses.

“Unplanned power outages resulting from cable theft, also affect healthcare services at clinics and endanger the lives of people who are on life support equipment at home.”

According to Benson, any person who unlawfully and intentionally tampers with, damages, or destroys essential infrastructure – relating to energy, transport, water, sanitation, and communication – is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a period of 30 years imprisonment or a fine of up to R100 million (Criminal Matters Amendment Act, 2015).

The municipality urges Kouga residents to report any suspicious activity to cable theft to Kouga Law Enforcement Officer, Johnny Hayward, at 081 322 7399 or 083 240 8489.